A big dank je wel to Holland’s blundering flotilla movement and the intrepid Internet activists who exposed shady leftist-Islamic alliances. Israel now rides an unexpected wave of Dutch public support.
Yochanan Visser explains:
Many articles — often with Dutch Internet media taking the lead — exposed alliances between Dutch far leftists and local Islamists who, together with some Christian groups, formed the organization Nederland-Gaza organizing Dutch participation in the second Gaza flotilla. The result has been a serious public debate and an actual increase in pro-Israel activity and support in the country . . . .
While these developments have exposed the Gaza flotilla as an operation of Hamas and radical left groups seeking to delegitimize and discredit Israel, they also have much broader significance. What has happened in Holland is a case study showing how Internet publications and research on the hidden radicalism and extremist ties of purportedly humanitarian and moderate groups can change government policy, media attitudes, and public opinion.
Among the revelations Vissers cites:
- KeesjeMaduraatje blew the whistle on Free Gaza Holland’s chairman, Rob Groenhuizen, “a convicted communist extremist who used to be a member of Dutch groups affiliated with the German terrorist Rote Armee Fraktion,” which had ties to the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
- Carel Brendel uncovered details about the Dutch and Italian NGOs that funded their boat, the Stefano Chiarini. De Telegraaf and Trouw expanded on the involvement of one Amin Abu Rashed, a Dutch Hamas member. Partly because of Rashed’s association with the Netherlands Gaza Foundation – which owns the Stefano Chiarini – every Dutch journalist abandoned ship.
These bloggers weren’t preaching to the choir. Visser adds that the Dutch government is considering cutting funding for Interchurch Organisation for Development and Cooperation (ICCO) when it was discovered that ICCO transferred public money to Electronic Intifada.
Now that is what I call Internet activism.